K. Madhan : “Adivasi Man Killed by Aggressive Elephant at Theppakadu Elephant Camp in MTR”

Death – Obituary – Accident and Crime News : A tragic incident occurred at the Theppakadu Elephant Camp in the Mudumalai Tiger Reserve (MTR) on Saturday, December 16, 2023, resulting in the death of a 65-year-old Adivasi man. The victim, identified as K. Madhan, was a resident of one of the Adivasi settlements neighboring the elephant camp. The unfortunate incident occurred when Wilson, a captive elephant known for his aggressive nature, was returning from a bath in the Moyar River along with his mahout and cavady.

As Mr. Madhan approached the elephant, despite efforts to keep him at a safe distance, he unknowingly ventured too close. This proximity triggered Wilson’s instinctive response, causing him to push Mr. Madhan to the ground and attack him. The quick-thinking mahout and cavady managed to rescue the victim, who had sustained severe injuries. They urgently transported him to a nearby hospital in a Forest Department vehicle, but sadly, their attempts to save his life were in vain as Mr. Madhan passed away during the journey.

Expressing his condolences, D. Venkatesh, the Field Director of MTR, referred to this incident as unfortunate and highlighted that it occurred due to the disregard of warnings from the mahout and cavady. He emphasized that Wilson, known for his temperamental behavior, typically only allows his trusted caretakers to approach him closely.

Adding to the tragedy, Mr. Madhan’s two sons were employed as forest staff personnel at the Mudumalai Tiger Reserve. In recognition of their loss, the authorities have announced that the family of the deceased will receive monetary compensation.

This incident serves as a reminder of the inherent risks associated with managing captive elephants. The Theppakadu Elephant Camp has long been a popular tourist attraction, providing visitors with an opportunity to observe and interact with these majestic creatures. However, incidents like these underscore the importance of maintaining a safe distance and respecting the boundaries set by these powerful animals.

As investigations into the incident continue, the authorities at the Mudumalai Tiger Reserve will likely review their safety protocols to prevent similar tragedies from occurring in the future.

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